Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman gave away the DRDO Awards–2016 & 2017 to various DRDO scientists for their outstanding contributions, while commemorating the National Technology Day, on May 14, 2018. Some of the prominent scientists, who received the award, include former Secretary Department of Defence R&D, Scientific Advisor to Raksha Mantri and Director General, DRDO Dr VK Saraswat for DRDO Lifetime Achievement Award – 2017, former Secretary Department of Defence R&D, Scientific Advisor to Raksha Mantri and Director General, DRDO Dr Vasudev Kalkunte Aatre for DRDO Lifetime Achievement Award – 2016, the Scientific Advisor to Raksha Mantri, Distinguished Scientist & Director General (Missiles & Strategic Systems) Dr G Satheesh Reddy for Technology Leadership Award – 2016, etc.
Speaking on the occasion, Smt Sitharaman said India being one of the largest procurer of defence equipment, the emphasis on indigenisation has to be reiterated, which has happened in the last four years. She stated that if India were to be a manufacturing hub for Defence products, indigenization has got to be on the top of the agenda. She said that manufacturing cannot be continuously and constantly with borrowed technology and hence that is where DRDO's Research & Development plays a very critical role.
The Raksha Mantri congratulated all the scientists who received the awards and wished them a great bright future. She also wished the organisation and all its scientists the very best.
The Chairman DRDO and Secretary Department of Defence R&D, Dr S Christopher also addressed the function and e-launched the 'Navrachna' implementation programme during the event. It was attended by senior officials from the three Services, DRDO and the Ministry of Defence.